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Robert Johans 04-03-2014 03:52 PM

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More body work, then a coat of primer, then more body work...

Jim Bennett 04-04-2014 05:07 AM

Looking slick.

cpaharley2008 04-04-2014 06:37 AM

What is your estimate of the weight of the mold we are seeing take shape?

Robert Johans 04-05-2014 08:13 PM

Weight of the mold? No clue... Why do you ask?

cpaharley2008 04-06-2014 06:30 AM

Just curious as to ease of movement and actually upon second thought, I was more interested in the weight of the composite shell coming out of the mold.

Andrew Gibbens 04-06-2014 07:01 AM

Surely what Robert is posting photos of is the 'plug' - the single-use male shape from which the female production 'mold' is taken, with (male) production parts being molded inside the mold.

Ian G. 04-06-2014 07:54 AM

Great progress Robert. This helps everyone appreciate the amount of work that goes into just the shell ... not to mention all the other components.

Vicki A. 04-06-2014 08:32 AM

Love how it's coming along, Robert!

Robert Johans 04-06-2014 06:28 PM

Thanks all for your comments.

Yes, these photos show the development of the "plug" for the top shell. Obviously, the plug must be perfect to build a perfect mold from which to pull perfect parts.

As the finishing for top shell plug gets dialed in, the bottom shell plug form is being cut and assembled, and the "rear cap" works its way through final engineering.

The process is arduous, but I am confident that we'll have a beautiful product when finally finished.

carlkeigley 04-06-2014 06:31 PM

I appreciate it isn't a "government job."
And "good enough" isn't good enough.

As you say, a perfect mold takes a perfect plug.

Robert Johans 05-04-2014 11:54 AM

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Hi Folks, been about a month since my last post. Here's an update on the progress of our Nest:

The fine details of the upper shell "plug" are being dialed in. The foam for the lower shell plug has been cut, assembled, and encased in fiberglass. (Photos below show bottom form upside down.) The "rear cap" has completed engineering and files are on the way to the CNC machine.

Again, the process has been excruciatingly slow. I am no longer making predictions about the delivery of the first prototype! Gotta stay patient, take our time and ensure perfect results.

Robert Johans 05-04-2014 12:01 PM

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More photos...

After the foam is cut and assembled, it is encased in a coat of fiberglass and resin. Then automotive body filler is worked onto the form and shaped. When this is near perfect, the form will get a coat of primer and reworked as necessary.

reeves99 05-04-2014 12:13 PM

fascinating Robert. Thanks for sharing that. From your avatar it looks like it may be the "Airstream" of the FG world. Wishing you best.

cpaharley2008 05-04-2014 12:14 PM


Robert Johans 05-04-2014 12:21 PM

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Meanwhile, the interior furniture components have been designed and translated to CNC files for the cabinet maker. Yes, real wood, high-end cabinetry...

The left side of the Nest will feature the the sink and shower enclosure; the right side has the cooktop, refrigerator, and countertop. The front end contains the queen-size mattress, with access to storage in front and below.

War Eagle 05-18-2014 09:03 PM

Looking great! Please keep the photos coming! I appreciate that you're taking your time to do it right, but I sure hope you can get a prototype to some rallies this Summer. I'm sure it will draw a huge crowd wherever it goes. I can't wait to step inside one and "try it on for size"!

brian m. 05-20-2014 07:02 PM

Fascinating stuff Robert!
Thanks for allowing us to watch the process from the very beginning.
I too can't wait to see one in person.

Francesca Knowles 05-22-2014 06:32 PM

Will you wait until both bottom and top half plugs are finished before proceeding to making the molds and casting the first actual body?

Also, I know you asked us all to limit discussion in this thread to the making of the plugs, but I hope if you don't go on to post the next processes here you do so in another thread. I'm really hoping to watch this from start to finish...

Jim Bennett 05-22-2014 09:03 PM

Francesca, my purpose for starting this thread (as per your request), was so we could watch and drool over the whole process, and that any discussion over the merits of components and other decisions made, be done elsewhere.

The thread title, Nest Caravans — Building a new FG trailer, step by step, kinda tells it better than my blurb at the beginning.

I too am enjoying the photos shared by Robert. Let's keep 'em comin'. :)

War Eagle 09-04-2014 10:31 PM

Robert, It's been four months since we've heard from you. Summer has come and almost gone. What's happening with the Nest? Any production models on the road yet? Any photos of actual camped-in-the-boonies Nest caravans we can analyze, scrutinize, drool over and dream about? Dale

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